5 Painless Ways we’re Chopping Our Expenses


Are your expenses too high? Ours were so we're chopping them! Want to lower yours too? Take a look at these 5 Painless Ways we're Chopping Our Expenses to get started slashing today!

 

5 Painless Ways we’re Chopping Our Expenses

 

A few times a year, I like to take a second (or third) look at our finances. There is always room for saving money and frankly? I’m cheap and I don’t like to pay more than I absolutely have to for our expenses. You might think that your budget is as tight as you can possibly get it, but there is usually always room for improvement. So once a quarter (or so), I take another look  and I try to slim down our spending even further. At this point, it has become a game to me.

“How low can you go?”

 

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So this time, I came across a few things that we can cut and I wanted to share them with you. Check out these 5 painless ways we’re chopping our expenses.

 

Timed Showers – My Emma is a BIG fan of LONG showers. Tom is too. As a result? I have had a $75.00/mo water bill. For 3 people? That is downright crazy. So Mom is putting her foot down. Shower time is cut down to 10 minutes per person. My showers, because I have REALLY long hair, are now timed to 15 minutes. Hopefully timing these and cutting back on the 30 minute water waste will not only show some savings in my water bill, but its also better for the planet. We have also added a full water bottle to both toilets in the house. This will raise the water level on it and cut back on the amount of water needed to fill the tank. Yes, it’s still sanitary to do, your toilet uses much more water to flush than is actually needed.

 

Dropping the Bulk – We were paying around $19.00/mo for Netflix and Hulu Plus. However, because we have an Amazon Prime subscription, we also have Amazon Prime Instant Video. Because of this, I see no reason to continue paying an extra $19.00 each month. That is an extra $228.00 per year that we don’t need to spend. We still get new shows and movies and we’re saving money at the same time. (If you don’t currently have Amazon Prime, you can get 30 days FREE with THIS link. This would be a great way to try it out to see if this step would work for your family too.)

 

Changing companies – I recently wrote a post about how I saved $264.00 a year in 5 minutes and 6 clicks and I’m so glad we did. Basically, we switched car insurance companies. Previously we had been insured by USAA but Progressive was able to give us a rate that was $22.00/mo cheaper. Not only that, we were able to add their device so that as we drove safely, our rate would continue to go down. Yes, that means our vehicle is monitored, but we are able to connect or disconnect it whenever we want. I’m still deciding whether it will be a permanent addition to our money saving arsenal, but it will be a bit before I know since it takes time to really get going.

 


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Changing plans – As I was going through everything, I realized that I was paying a whopping $65.00 per month for unlimited cell service. That included unlimited talk, text and data. The first 2 are very much needed, but seeing that I am at home a lot, I had to question why I was paying for data when 90% of the time I am connected to my own wi-fi. Taking a look at the plans that my cell provider has, I was able to save $35.00 per month just by dropping that data. I can add daily data for $2.00 a day if I happen to need it for GPS and I still save $420.00 per year.  Not only did I change the cell plan, but our electric provider also has different plans. I had never seen anything like that before we moved in May so when we moved, I simply chose their pre-paid option for ease and would deposit money each month. Once I remembered I needed to take a better look at the plans, I found what I’m going to consider my personal gold mine.

Free. Electric.

You heard me. I switched our plan to their free nights plan. From 9pm to 6 am, we pay $0 for our power usage. So, to see the biggest savings, I had to move things to the evening. The dishwasher now gets run after 9, clothes are washed after 9. I do a lot of work after 9. The transition wasn’t anything that was really hard to do and I can say now? I’m saving $35.00 per week on power.

Our electric usage for last week? $36.00.

 

Doing it DIY Style – I have always loved doing things myself, but as our family gets settled into a new town, life has gotten busy. Because of that, over the last couple of years, I have stopped making things myself. Holy expenses jump Batman! So I have gone back to making a lot of the items that we use here at home…myself. I am making my own bread and tortillas. We’re using DIY Laundry Detergent and cleaners. I’ve got bars of homemade soap curing and the bottles of diy shampoo are filling up my linen closet. Instead of replacing my dishcloths and kitchen sponges, I’ve used old, ratty t-shirts to make cleaning rags (something I used to do, but stopped).  Basically, if I can make it myself? I am. For October 2014 so far, doing this has saved me over $100.00.

 

So there you have it. My 5 painless ways we’re chopping our expenses. Overall, we are now saving ourselves a minimum of $2300 per year!! The little things that we do, really do add up, even if you don’t actively see it. When is the last time that you took another look at your budget? What painless ways are you cutting expenses?

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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family. A true gypsy soul, her newest blog, Unsettled Hearts, chronicles the journey of her family to become full-time travelers. By the age of 30, Stacy had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading this post. I try to save anyway I can and have done the change in insurance. We are now considering getting rid of our home phone (funny but I have sentimental reason for not getting rid of the number I have had the same # for 31 of our 33 years of marriage…lol) and even considering something besides the cable we use. Just trying to save a buck and found this to be very helpful!

    • Try Amazon Instant Video like we did. If you have Prime, its already free and if not, there is a 30 day free trial link in the post. If that doesn’t work, Netflix and Hulu really are great options b/c you can get both of them for under $20/mo.

  2. I wish I could do the free electric plan! We moved into our house in April and wanted to move out in May when we discovered our electric bill is $250 per month. Believe me I cut way back but it didn’t help. Ruined our joy of the new house.

    • I was surprised that ours had different plans. I’d never seen that until now. Might want to double check with yours just to be sure they don’t have an option like that?

  3. The Netflix/Hulu Plus drop was a good one, considering (from my experience) those two are almost interchangeable for TV and movie options. We also considerably lowered our cell phone bills when we went to pre-paid plans, and figured out that “unlimited” minutes and texting were wholly unnecessary for me.

    I can’t agree, however, that DIY is “painless.” Hah. I’ve found that many things I could make myself aren’t worth the time it actually takes, nor the cost of materials. Too many things are so cheap or free with coupons that I can’t jump on many of the home-made bandwagons.

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